State awards contract for high-occupancy toll lanes in Charlotte | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Friday, June 27, 2014

State awards contract for high-occupancy toll lanes in Charlotte

Posted by on Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Last year, the Indy reported that North Carolina transportation leaders were moving on a controversial plan to construct high-occupancy toll lanes, better known as HOT lanes, for a congested portion of I-77 north of Charlotte. On Thursday, the N.C. Department of Transportation finalized that deal, signing off on a contract with Spanish-based transit company Cintra.

DOT agreed to a public-private partnership with the group to build and operate HOT lanes on about 26 miles of I-77 stretching from uptown Charlotte to the Lake Norman area. That stretch of roadway is known to be one of the most congested areas in the state.

HOT lanes allow drivers to choose whether they want to pay a toll to travel a guaranteed speed of 45 mph. The private company will set the toll rates, which fluctuate up or down depending on traffic. With the cash-strapped state facing about $45 billion in needed highway improvements between 2015 and 2020, both supporters and opponents say HOT lanes could be the future of congestion relief across the state, including in the Triangle.

“This project provides an innovative and comprehensive solution to existing and future congestion in this corridor,” said NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata in a statement. “Utilizing the public-private partnership concept is allowing us to improve nearly 26 miles of I-77 in just a few years, not in decades. This expansion will provide an option for reliable travel time while addressing long-term mobility concerns.”

The state will spend about $88 million on the project, with Cintra paying the remaining $655 million in exchange for toll revenues. Officials say the project will be complete within four years. N.C. House of Representatives Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican from Charlotte, was a major proponent.

Opponents, however, note HOT lanes have done little to ease congestion when implemented in other states such as Georgia. Citizen groups such as Widen I-77 have called for leaders to instead increase the number of general purpose lanes on the busy highway.

On Thursday, those HOT lane critics reaffirmed their opposition. “This project has been characterized by inconsistency, misrepresentation and a disregard for the taxpayer’s money,” said Widen I-77 spokesman Kurt Naas.

Tags: ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

"razing entire blocks to build a massive stadium in the middle of residential neighborhoods"

Where are you getting that? …

by JohnNC on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

I'm glad to hear that Steve Schewel [founder of indyweek] will retain his council seat
if he loses his …

by Chris Tiffany on Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Durham's Municipal Candidates (News)

Most Recent Comments

"razing entire blocks to build a massive stadium in the middle of residential neighborhoods"

Where are you getting that? …

by JohnNC on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

I'm glad to hear that Steve Schewel [founder of indyweek] will retain his council seat
if he loses his …

by Chris Tiffany on Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Durham's Municipal Candidates (News)

It's spelled "Zainab Baloch".

by jason0x21 on Baldwin Bows Out of Raleigh At-large Race; All Council Candidates Have Opposition (News)

I live in Durham NC. We have a large growth in the last 6 years. The city have really gotten …

by Margaret Houston on Section 8 Voucher Holders Are Having a Hard Time Finding Housing in Durham (News)

@ Hunter23 "A combination of investors and loans" is not specific, and nowhere in the article is the phrase "private …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation